Emily has served as the Executive Director of Sage Girl since August of 2011. She is passionate about girlhood, leadership, and social change and comes to us with over ten years of experience delivering girls empowerment programs and leadership development initiatives within the local community. She is an active member of the Working Group on Girls at the United Nations and an avid supporter of girls human rights.
Emily lives in Bergen County with her husband Tom and rescue pup Shadow. She enjoys running, reading, spending time with family and friends, and has a fairly sizeable obsession with vampires!
Girls on the Run Council Director
Becky graduated summa cum laude with a BA in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and holds an MS in Mechanical Engineering from Washington University. She spent 15 years in engineering and project management in the aerospace, medical, and computer industries prior to taking time off to spend more time with her three young children.
Shortly after relocating to New Jersey in 2005, Becky began to apply her management skills and passion for running within her local community. She became involved with Girls on the Run in September of 2007 and has been a part of the Sage Girl team ever since. Becky has managed the growth of our GOTR Council from a single site serving 14 girls to over 30 sites in Hunterdon, Bucks, and Warren counties, serving more than 700 girls each year. Becky is passionate about educating and preparing her girls and all girls for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living.
Becky resides in Hunterdon County with her husband, Paul, and her three amazing children. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and running the roads of Hunterdon County.
Caitlin is a Junior at The College of New Jersey and an intern for Sage Girl. After starting off in college as an Economics major she soon found it was not for her and transferred into the Psychology department. While simply trying to fulfill a “Gender Requirement” Caitlin enrolled in Politics of Sexuality. By the end of one three hour class she had fallen in love. When asked about her double major Caitlin says “Psychology is my base, Women Studies is my passion.”
During that semester, Caitlin volunteered to help with the Girls on the Run 5k to complete a requirement for her class. To this day, she continues to volunteer/intern for Sage Girl as often as she can. She is an advocate for girl’s rights and education. In the past Caitlin has helped facilitate Sage Girl’s first Self-Defense series, volunteered for Girls on the Run (Fall & Spring), and presented a workshop on leadership at the Trenton State House to celebrate Girl Scouts 100th year.
In her spare time, Caitlin takes fight classes, volunteers, and loves to paint her nails. She also has a mild obsession with cats, especially black ones, and has no shame in admitting her plan to be the “Crazy Cat Lady.”
Emeline is a current undergraduate student at Emerson College, where she studies Writing, Literature, and Publishing, with minors in Women and Gender Studies, and in Marketing.
She is passionate about social issues, especially in regards to gender, sexuality, and gender-identity. She believes in the importance of equipping the next generation of girls with the skills and confidence to bring about much-needed change.
Emeline loves to read and remains perpetually in love with the Harry Potter series, while continuing to expand her bookshelf. She also enjoys running themed races, watching science fiction television, and snuggling with her dachshunds!
Stephanie Jones, Ed.D.
Founder & Board of Trustees, President
Stephanie Jones, Ed.D received her doctorate from Boston University in Counseling Psychology. She was an instructor in psychology in the Department of Psychology at Harvard Medical School and a postdoctoral fellow at The Center for the Addiction Studies at Harvard Medical School. She is co-author of a book on addictions, and was in private practice as a clinical psychologist in Cambridge, MA for many years, until recently relocating to her family farm in Hunterdon, NJ.
In 2006, Stephanie founded the Girls Institute for Empowerment – now Sage Girl - in order to promote the social, psychological and physical health of girls and women, and to help the next generation continue to advance and achieve gender equality.
She is the mother of two teenage daughters and married to a psychologist whom she met as an intern at a departmental Halloween party 25 years ago.
Board of Trustees, Vice President
Lisa Thompson holds a BA from the University of Virginia in International Relations and French, and a MPH from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Environmental Management and Policy. She, her husband and their three children have lived in Delaware Township, NJ for twelve years and have been active in the community throughout that time.
In 2006, Lisa worked with Dr. Stephanie Jones to found the local council of Girls on the Run, and subsequently Sage Girl. While not trained in this area, Lisa has long had an interest in and affinity for helping girls navigate their preteen and adolescent years. When her oldest daughter reached her preteen years, Lisa started Girls on the Run to provide her daughter and her peers with the physical and emotional support they needed. And while Lisa no longer runs the council, it remains near and dear to her heart.
Currently Lisa works for a small environmental engineering firm in Trenton directing their marketing efforts. She also serves on the Board of Education for Delaware Township Schools.
Board of Trustees, Treasurer
Jonathan (Jon) Perlman was named Treasurer of Sage Girl, formerly the Girls Institute for Empowerment in October of 2008. Jon served as Director of Education for a local computer software company and taught business systems implementation for an international consulting firm for many years.
Jon graduated with a BA from Carleton College, Minnesota and an MBA from the University of Chicago. Jon is a CPA and is certified with the IRS as a member of the VITA and TCE tax programs. Jon is currently a Firefighter and Treasurer of the Sergeantsville Volunteer Fire Company.
Jon is now retired and volunteers his time at numerous local organizations. He teaches computer courses at the Hunterdon County Senior Center, participates in the County Mr. Fixit and Billpay programs, and does work for Meals on Wheels and the New Jersey Conservation Foundation.
Jon resides on 13-acres in Delaware township and spends his “free” time gardening, and tending his flock of sheep. No. He does not have a crook.
Joan Durbin, MD & Ph.D.
Board of Trustees
Dr. Joan Durbin completed her MD and PhD in Microbiology at Rutgers University and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ in 1989, and began the Experimental Pathology residency program at New York University that same year. This program allowed MD PhDs to train in both anatomic pathology and research during their residency. Joan did her research in the laboratory of Dr. David Levy, who is interested in how the body turns on its antiviral defenses at the start of an infection. With Dr. Levy’s group, Joan developed a mouse lacking a gene essential for the function of the antiviral response, which they then used to study virus-host interactions.
Joan went from NYU to a faculty position in the Pediatrics Department at the Ohio State University, which is housed in a freestanding Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. There she worked as a pediatric pathologist and established her laboratory in the adjacent Research Institute. Her laboratory is focused on the study of respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, which is a major cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in infants and young children. There is currently no vaccine to protect children against this infection, and it remains a serious clinical problem, especially for babies born prematurely in the winter months. There have been many attempts to develop a vaccine to combat this disease, but because of the unusual biology of this virus, none of the standard approaches has been successful.
Because of her interest in how the body combats virus infection, Joan has chosen to concentrate on this problem in her research. She has recently returned to NJ and is now the Director of Pediatric Pathology and Director of Experimental Pathology at New York University School of Medicine.
Board of Trustees
Ryan graduated from The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) with a BA in Women's and Gender Studies and from New York University with a MA in Gender Politics. He serves as the Director of Housing at TCNJ, and is an Adjunct Faculty member of TCNJ's Women's and Gender Studies Department where he teaches gender and popular culture.
Currently, he is interested in the way 21st century technologies shape our personal identities. He hopes his involvement in Sage Girl will offer new opportunities to merge theory and practice.
Ryan lives in Philadelphia with his partner Amanda and their two dogs, where he enjoys cooking, eating, and learning how to brew beer.
Elizabeth C. Matto, Ph.D.
Board of Trustees
Elizabeth lives with her husband and two children in Whitehouse Station, NJ. A political scientist by training, Matto is an Assistant Research Professor at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University and serves as the Director of Eagleton’s Youth Political Participation Program (YPPP). As Director of YPPP, Matto engages in research, education, and public service programs designed to equip and encourage young people to be active political participants.
Matto also serves as a member of the Associates Board at the Hunterdon Art Museum and is an Adjunct Trustee. She previously coached Girls on the Run at Holland Brook School for three seasons.
Julie Ann Salthouse
Board of Trustees, Secretary
Julie Ann Salthouse is Program Coordinator at the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers University, where she coordinates the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence and the Violence Against Women Campaign. Prior to her position at the Center, Julie was the Chapter Director for Girls Learn International®, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing the voices of U.S. students into the movement for universal girls’ education. She is also Co-Editor of the online, open-access journal Films for the Feminist Classroom, and previously worked as a Language Arts teacher in New Jersey.
Julie graduated summa cum laude with her BA in English from the College of Saint Elizabeth, and holds an MA in Women’s and Gender Studies from Rutgers University. Her master’s thesis explored the role of public speaking and voice in girls’ leadership development. Her research and advocacy interests center on feminist pedagogy, girls’ identity development, and young women’s leadership and activism.
Julie has experience working with girls in a variety of formal and informal education settings. She regularly presents at regional and national conferences on the topics of girls’ leadership and education, and was a guest speaker at the annual conference of the Committee on Teaching about the United Nations in NYC.
Kristin McCarthy, Ph.D. Candidate
Board of Trustees
Kristin is shy!
Board of Trustees
Joanna Shihadeh, Esq. is an associate attorney at The Davis Firm Pllc where she practices transactional entertainment law, specifically as it relates to the music industry. Her work consists of drafting, revising, and negotiating contracts and advising her artist clientele of general business and legal matters as it relates to their careers.
Joanna graduated with a B.A. in Music from Boston College and holds a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law. Prior to attending law school, Joanna worked with Girls Learn International, Inc. and fellow Sage Girl board member, Emily Bent, to help create and organize Girls Learn’s fundraising events.
Having attended an all-girls school for her primary education, Joanna has long understood the empowerment that comes from girls education and joins the board of Sage Girl as a long time passionate supporter of social change accomplished through the education of girls.
Joanna lives in Brooklyn, New York with her rescue dog and her scooter. When not working, she practices yoga, cooks, and goes to the beach as much as humanely possible!
Jennifer Silva, CEC, ELI-MP
Board of Trustees
Jennifer holds a B.S. in Marketing and is a graduate of the ICF-accredited coaching program at the Institute of Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC). She holds both credentials of CEC (Certified Empowerment Coach) and ELI-MP (Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner) for coaching individuals on Self-Empowerment. She enjoys her full-time position as an Internet Sales Advisor for a local dealership.
Jennifer conducts weekend workshops using unique modalities for people who truly want to bring about change in their lives. As a presenter of the Dove Self-Esteem workshops for girls, she raises awareness of the challenges that girls face in today’s society regarding self-empowerment. With the skills she has gained from her training and life experiences, Jennifer helps people create extraordinary changes in their lives by helping them find the power within themselves. She has helped her clients see the greatest power we all have; the power of choice.
Jennifer’s current projects include creating self-esteem affirmation cards and daily affirmations on empowering your life through a smart phone application. She is inspired by those committed to making positive changes in their everyday lives. Jennifer lives with her husband, two children and beloved dog in Hunterdon County.